19th July 2020

Pips top Tips for managing your emotional states.

We all get pulled out of shape, experience disruptions and disturbances from our normal routine and face setbacks/challenges from time to time. When we are in the midst of a period of upset or pain, or we have become unbalanced and distressed we typically find ourselves in fight or flight mode. At this point, we are not thinking about our actions but are instead feeling and reacting. When this happens It’s important to disengage and disassociate from the experience, so feelings of desperation are not driving you. Our mind, body and brain work together, learning how to stay calm in the chaos and stop life circumstances from determining your state of mind is such a vital life skill, with that said it is a skill that needs to be practised. Here are some of my top tips on how to stay calm when you find yourself in the sea of chaos: 1. Check if you are present and fully aware of your body. Ask yourself what can you see, hear, feel, smell and taste. This will help you become aware of all your senses. Check yourself, are you in your head worrying about the future, feeling anxious occupying only your headspace rehearsing ‘what if’ outcomes? Stop free-floating on automatic-pilot and come back to your here and now by changing your physiology. Stand up if you’re sitting down and stretch your arms up and out, move your eyes upwards and disassociate from the future worry by moving the concern as far […]
19th May 2020

Social Distanced & Remote Sessions

Following last week’s government guidance, to return to work if it is safe to do so, I am now seeing clients in a social distancing capacity. I will be running sessions in my garden – weather dependent of course. I am also offering online sessions via Zoom or WhatsApp. If you would to book a session, or need any support please just let me know. Take care and stay well Pip x
10th May 2020

Imprints, embedded memories and our belief systems

Imprints or embedded memories make up our belief system, which affects the way we see ourselves, others and the world. When something impactful happens to us it leaves an impression on us and our central nervous system. We then create a picture of it and keep it stored internally. Imprints are formed in childhood, but we continue accumulating them throughout life, the memory is made up of our senses: pictures, sounds, feelings, tastes and smells. How we interpret them is dependent on our biology, environment, conditioning and experiences. Imprints can make us believe things are absolute truths, even when they are not true. They can also make us act illogically, give us irrational fears and phobias because they are often not based on our current reality. Imagine two people walking down a street together at night. Both have the same risk of danger. Yet one of them feels safe because, as a child, was given a  lot of reassurance and was imprinted with a sense of confidence and security. The other doesn’t feel safe because, as a child, was not given a feeling of protection or safety, so was imprinted with a sense that life is dangerous. Maybe they were safe, or maybe they were in danger, but both are operating from the influence of their imprints. Imprints will always be with us, and these early memories influence our perception of life and impact our current reality.  The memories we hold on to are clues to our imprints. Maybe you […]
19th April 2020

Dreams in uncertain times

Why COVID 19 might be affecting our sleep pattern. The world has been turned upside down from the coronavirus pandemic, and people everywhere are experiencing disruptions to sleep. For some people, this can include more trouble sleeping, less deep/comfortable sleep and some of us are having unsettling dreams out of our normal sleeping patterns. People have begun calling these “pandemic dreams.” As the concept of dreaming is so complex, scientific research behind the reasons why we have the dreams we do is still inconclusive. However, experts believe that our dreams are a way that our brain log memories and information gathered from that day. Research also suggests that negative experiences in our lives lead us to have more negative dreams or, we are more likely to interpret our dreams negatively. With so many of us listening or watching the news to get updates on the spread of the virus before we go to bed we are inadvertently setting ourselves up for a” pandemic dream”. According to research, exposure to unsettling news will affect our sleep and our dreams. This is because of our amygdala (the part of your brain which controls and regulates fight-or-flight responses), is active in sleep. When our brain perceives that our life is under threat or a perceived what-if threat, our fight-or-flight response gets triggered resulting in the production of stress hormones like noradrenaline, which keep us hyper-aroused and hypervigilant even when we are asleep. When stress disrupts our sleep patterns we spend more time in […]
7th April 2020

The process of learning Acceptance

  The first time the term  “acceptance” was really brought to my attention was in personal therapy 10 years ago.  We were discussing my illness and recent diagnosis, my therapist suggested I “accept” my illness.  I remember rejecting her suggestion and becoming resistant and defensive. My critical inner voice was shouting out “No I won’t”. I think when we are initially shocked by terrible news we think that not accepting it will mean it is not happening, but we all know that life does not work like this. I have since learnt that wanting to change something that is out of my control was causing me more pain and suffering than accepting it for what it is.  I needed to learn how to adapt. Acceptance does not mean that you like something or choose something you do not want to, but by resisting and rejecting things we create more pain and suffering. It doesn’t mean we have to endorse our anxiety, depression, illness, chronic pain or loss rather when you are not able to change the situation, allow it space to be there, give yourself permission to feel the experience without creating unhealthy thoughts and emotions around it. The pain will still be there, but some of the sufferings will be alleviated. Acceptance is a process, that has to be practised, it requires time and effort and can seem impossible, daunting and overwhelming. We don’t wake up one day and suddenly choose to accept our emotional and physical pain, our […]
22nd March 2020

Coping in the current COVID-19 crisis

  It is no secret that stress plays a significant role in and can consequently have profound impacts on both our physical and psychological health. We face an unprecedented situation, which is full of uncertainty and ‘what ifs’. Therefore, it is difficult as we face our own and global anxieties surrounding COVID-19. When external distractions are slowly being removed and there is such exposure of this virus on the news it is difficult for our fears to not escalate! So what can we do to help alleviate our anxiety? Focused breathing exercises can really help. This can be as simple as breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth deeply when anxious feelings cloud your thoughts. The app ‘Headspace’ is fantastic for focused breathing activities. Visualisation techniques can also be of merit. Visualise doing a body scan – start with your head, face, shoulders, chest, arms, back, legs and down to your feet. This helps to centre you and take your attention off your thought process. There are visual scanner apps also available for download. If you are able to get out into the fresh air and walk, do so regularly, I would recommend at least once daily. If you find your thought pattern is unhealthy to distract yourself, notice three things around you, the shape, colour, size and texture. Observe it and be curious about it. Try to establish as much of a structured routine as possible. The closer it is to your ‘normal working routine’ the […]
3rd March 2020

Relational Needs and Loneliness

  What are Relational needs? They are our emotional necessities that are met through social connections. Being socially connected is the experience of feeling close to and connected to others. This is one of the most fundamental aspects of human life. It involves feeling loved, cared for, valued and appreciated. This is different from the need for survival and physical safety which Maslow bases his hierarchy of human needs on. We all have a desire to belong. Our lives revolve around social interactions and the maintenance of our interpersonal relationships. We experience these needs from cradle to grave, often out of awareness. Being in a relationship with others offers security, attachment, guidance, validation and reassurance of worth. How we connect to others and how we are accepted by those whose opinions we value significantly impact our emotions, self-beliefs and underlies fundamental behaviours, which play an important part in both our physical and psychological well-being and mental health. Problems occur when our relational needs are not currently being met, or if they were not adequately met in our early development stages. The consequence of this can be reflected as feelings of emptiness, longing, loneliness, frustration, anger, aggression, depression, loss of energy and hope. As a way of explaining our inner distress we develop self-beliefs that become entrenched internally, such as ”There’s nobody there for me, there’s no use trying, or nobody can be trusted.”. In every human culture studied we see the pain of banishment and isolation as the most severe […]
26th January 2020

New Year Resolutions and why they dont last.

The New Year symbolises a fresh start because of this many of us have a strong desire to make changes in our life, rather like beginning a new chapter in the book that is our life. Many of us make resolutions. These look different for each individual be it losing weight, getting fit or finding a new job. We start this ‘new chapter’ full of enthusiasm with great aspiration to achieve our goals, however, only 12% of us will succeed past January. Some of the reasons our Resolutions don’t last: The goals we set are unrealistic. It is important to be specific about what goals you would like to achieve and know exactly why this goal is important to you. For example: Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive role model to loved ones? Do you want to lose weight, so you can feel more confident in your body, have increased energy, look fabulous for an upcoming event, live longer or have an excuse to buy new clothes? If you are honest with yourself as to your reasons why you want to achieve the goal then you will be more encouraged to succeed. Remember if it’s not really important to you, then you won’t do it. If you want to make any positive personal changes, then the last thing to do is to drastically change your entire life overnight. Slow and steady habit changes may sound mundane but are more effective and achievable than an […]
1st January 2020

Anger and Aggressive Outbursts

The emotion of anger is entirely natural, and it is normal to feel angry when you’ve been wronged or mistreated. Despite its negative connotations, anger can be used in a positive way to propel you forward and it can consequently help you to achieve personal goals. It is important that emotions such as anger get released in a healthy manner and don’t get bottled up (venting is an important and very normal human response). Gaining and sustaining control over your anger and then being able to self-regulate this is crucial to maintaining rational and calm responses. When anger results in aggressive and/or violent outbursts and it subsequently causes harm to yourself or others – it becomes a problem. Feelings of anger and violent outbursts can be related to many different underlying mental health issues, such as: including mistrust issues, depression, anxiety, a history of past physical, sexual or emotional abuse and addictions, among others.  In order to control these outbursts of anger said underlying mental health difficulties and dependencies need to be addressed and treated appropriately. If you or someone you know presents with the following: An inability to express emotions in a calm and healthy manner, Ignores or refuses to speak to people, Struggles to compromise without getting angry, which then results in aggressive violent outbursts, Displayed heightened anger/violence when consuming alcohol, Consistently struggles with substance abuse or addiction, Displaying progressively erratic violent behaviour in inappropriate situations Then support is needed. It can be extremely difficult to recognise and […]